Software Developers Move to GitLab in Wake of Microsoft-GitHub Buyout

Apps and Software

Microsoft's main headquarters in Washington state, USA. / Photo by: Maxpixel


Thousands of software developers have abandoned source code repository GitHub in favor of rival GitLab after the former was reportedly bought by Microsoft. The acquisition had caused jitters that GitHub might favor Microsoft products over other software, according to Vibhuti Sharma and Supantha Mukherjee, reporting for Reuters. 

GitLab CEO Sytse Sijbrandij said it has been crazy, in reference to the chaotic situation that resulted 24 hours after Microsoft announced its buyout of GitHub. Sijbrandij added that they are seeing thousands of computer programmers defecting, without a lot of them talking about it on Twitter. 

Microsoft acquired GitHub in a US$7.5 billion all-stock deal in an attempt to lure developers and challenge Amazon’s dominance in the cloud computing business. GitHub, which bills itself as the world’s largest code repository, has more than 28 million developers using its platform. 

On the other hand, millions of developers are also using GitLab’s platform, but the San Francisco-based competitor to GitHub did not reveal the exact number. Some of the organizations using GitLab are IBM, Sony, NASA, CERN, and SpaceX. It was founded in 2011 by Ukrainians Sijbrandij and Dmitriy Zaporozhets. Google Ventures, Y Combinator, and Khosla Ventures are some of its investors. It plans to have its initial public offering of stock in 2020.  

More than a hundred thousand coding projects had been imported on GitLab’s platform and there was a seven-fold increase in orders since the Microsoft-GitHub deal was announced, Sijbrandij claimed. He pointed out that this is ten times the usual number of people migrating to GitLab. To take advantage of the increased traffic on its website, GitLab is offering a 75 percent discount on some subscription plans to new customers switching to its platform. 

However, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella maintained that GitHub will reportedly remain an open-source platform.